Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Canada in neck deep with NSA spies.

In a stupidly titled article, CITYTV from Toronto reports on a Guardian UK story. CSEC, the Communications Security Establishment Canada, collaborated with the British GCHQ to hack into Android phones and iPhones.

Canada’s eavesdropping agency helped key allies tap into Android smartphones — possibly using the popular “Angry Birds” game as an entry point, newly leaked documents indicate.

The latest disclosure by former American spy contractor Edward Snowden, published this week by the Guardian newspaper, suggests Ottawa-based Communications Security Establishment Canada helped its British and U.S. counterparts with the project.

One goal, according to the Guardian, was to take advantage of “leaky” smartphone applications, such as “Angry Birds” — a game in which feathered creatures attack tiny pigs — that transmit users’ private information into cyberspace.

The data from iPhone and Android apps include everything from phone model and screen size to personal details such as age, gender and even sexual orientation, the newspaper reported.

Included in the story is news that government agencies can turn on cell phones that are "off", and can turn on cell phone microphones. We know from other stories that the same holds true for web cams and phone cameras, they can be turned on remotely without showing the little red "on" light.

Canadians, take note. Given the proclivity for our civil service to push things as far as they can go, I fully expect we are far more watched and spied upon than Americans.

Furthermore, lets not pretend that runaway government is the only danger here. Holes that government hackers can discover and use are out there for other people to discover and use too. A government employee may hesitate to use economic information they've acquired illegally for personal gain, due to the danger of getting caught and prosecuted. Foreign criminal networks will show no such scruples.

The Phantom

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